Hizbullah supporters flock to streets. Hizbullah
leaders and members of the Christian general Aoun on Thursday called on Lebanese residents to launch protests starting on Friday, in a demand to replace Fouad Siniora's government with a unity government.
Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah
said in a speech broadcast live on the al-Manar network that "if we want to build a united Lebanon,
we must establish a unity government."
Nasrallah called on his supporters to ensure that the protests are cultural and non-violent.
According to him, the decision to go out to the streets was made after the opposition was left with no other legal choice. He accused the government of wanting to lead a monopoly and said that it had failed in managing the country's business.
"The government's failure is the result of its being a one camp's government. In Lebanon, in its ethnic and multicolored composition, one camp cannot rule. This government has proved that it is unable to meet its obligations and it has failed, and therefore we call for a unity government," Nasrallah said.
The Hizbullah leader said that his organization and the opposition organizations want all political forces in Lebanon to be represented.
"Our aspiration if to establish a unity government which will be based on solidarity and understanding, and not on imposing once party's positions on the other," he said.
Nasrallah told his supporters that the protest will begin in Beirut and will spread to all parts of the country. According to him, the next stage in the struggle would be to expand and escalate the demonstrations and demand that early elections are held.
Hizbullah was part of Seniora's government, but about two weeks ago three ministers from the organization and from the Amal movement resigned
from their jobs. This action threatened to lead to a violent confrontation between the government's opposers and its supporters.
The Lebanese opposition and Hizbullah members were encouraged by the small number of people taking part in slain Minister
Pierre Gemayel's funeral procession.
The government wished to use this funeral as a display of power, but Hizbullah saw it as a sign of growing support from the public for forming a unity government.
Siniora's government is worried that Hizbullah members will take on a central role in the government, giving Iran greater influence in Lebanon, especially in the matter of setting up an international tribunal to
investigate the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and other Lebanese leaders.
According to reports in Lebanon, Syria ordered its supporters in Lebanon, mainly Hizbullah, to sabotage the process of forming the international court.